Charleston Sen. Marlon Kimpson closed the distance in a potential long shot victory to be the Dist. 42 representative in the S.C. State Senate. And since winning the seat in October, he steadily has worked to serve his constituents.
Kimpson was one of six candidates vying for the Democratic nomination. He outdistanced the competition by wide margins in both the August 13 Democratic primary election and the August 27 runoff election defeating challenger Maurice Washington 2-1. He told voters he best could articulate the needs of constituents in the district. But more importantly, he said he was best able to represent their interests.
Since the October 1 victory Kimpson has met with constituents at various forums. He said he’s engaged constituents while riding buses and at a recent town hall meeting in North Charleston. That has given him insight to the needs of constituents, he said.
“I’ve heard from the people and they are concerned about their economic well-being. Strong public schools and modern infrastructure are the foundations for economic growth. A commitment to our workforce also is critical,” he said.
Toward those ends Kimpson has pre-filed three bills in the Senate for the upcoming 2014 legislative session. They are bills S.870, S.906 and S.907.
Bill S.870 would make retailers responsible for collecting sales tax when doing business either online or with out of state customers. He explained that the state is not receiving a lot of revenue because those taxes often aren’t paid.
Bill S.906 is a bill that would make employers provide paid sick leave to employees working 40 or more hours weekly. Superficially, the bill may seem a liability to employers, but Kimpson rationalizes that sick employees are less productive employees. Also, sick employees jeopardizes healthy workers and customers, especially in the service industry, he said.
Bill S.907 would offer a tax credit to employers who hire a formerly incarcerated individual. Among the greatest challenges to reintegrating formerly incarcerated individuals into their communities as well as reducing the rate of recidivism is finding work, Kimpson said. His bill offers employers an incentive to reduce that challenge.
Jobs, benefits, and inequitable treatment are among the things Kimpson said he heard from constituents as he moved around the district in the past few months. He said he’s continuing to talk with colleagues in the Senate to better understand its processes.
But he also has visited schools and met with school officials. He vows to participate in the conversation about the low performing challenged schools in District 42.
He noted that as increasingly more jobs will require higher education and training, workforce development will be among his priorities.
Those issues dovetail into the issue of crime, Kimpson said. Better education and job opportunities offer alternatives before individuals commit crimes, he said.